Today, the Dutch broadcasters TROS and NOS presented the 24 participants of the Nationaal Songfestival 2005, the national selection for the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. After four semifinals and a final we will know who represents the Netherlands in Kiev next year. ALso, the new songfestival.nl is available online!
During four semifinals, six songs will compete each time for three places in the final. The first semifinal will take place on Thursday 20th January, the other three semifinals on 27th January, 3rd February and 10th February. 12 songs will eventually compete in the final on Sunday 13th February. All shows will be held in the Pepsi Stage theatre in Amsterdam, the same venue as last year, and will be broadcast live on Nederland 2. On 13th January, a kick-off program about the 50th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast.
Hosts and jury
Earlier, the TROS already announced that Nance and Hans Schiffers are the hosts for the Nationaal Songfestival 2005 and that the jury will consist of Cornald Maas, Paul de Leeuw and Esther Hart. The semifinal winners will most likely be decided by jury votes and televoting. The exact format will most likely be known later today.
Semifinal 1 – 20th January
� Trinity – Go
� Renee & Dennis – One Look
� Wilson – Something
� Yvette de Bie – Someone like you
� Jeen – Een leven lang
� Chantal van der Steeg – Eat your heart out
Renee appeared on stage during the Alternatief Songfestival, partly an initiative of esctoday.com, last year, ending up second with the song Find a way. Her singing partner Dennis was one of the group members of Suzy 'n' The Hi-Rollers, which ended up 9th in the 2004 Dutch national final. Yvette de Bie ended up among the last 30 during the first season of Idols in the Netherlands.
Semifinal 2 – 27th January
� Waylon & Rachel – Leven als een beest
� Willemijn Verkaik – Wishful thinking
� Tiffany – Tomorrow
� Blue Karma – Free as a bird
� Meander – Tusken Skimmer en Ijocht
� Chastity – Baby it's you
Rachel was one of the members of K-otic, the successful group formed in the programme Starmaker. The group had some major hits in 2001 and 2002. Blue Karma is the artist name of Kees Versluis, better known as Kaysee. With his song Butterfly he participated in the Dutch national selection for 2004. Meander sings a song in the Frisian language, which is still spoken and written in the northern part of the Netherlands.
Semifinal 3 – 3rd February
� Johnny Rosenberg – When forever ends
� Kuik & Klaver – Together
� Femme Vocale – Stay
� Justine Pelmelay What you need is what you get
� Ralph Mc Coy – Breaking news
� Barbara Lok – Tranen in stilte
Among the members of Femme Vocale is Liane Hoogeveen, who was the leadsinger of the group Shift that participated in the Nationaal Songfestival in 1990 and finished 3rd with the song Helemaal. André Kuik performed in the semifinals of the 2004 national selection with Change. Justine Pelmelay represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1989 with the song Blijf zoals je bent. Barbara Lok participated in the Dutch semifinals in 2003 with Als twee vrienden.
Semifinal 4 – 10th February
� Air Force – How does it feel
� Darre – De liefde
� No Angels – Dressed to kill
� Glennis Grace – My impossible dream
� Nadeem – Too wild
� André Kuik – So high
Johnny Logan did it again! To be more specified, 'Mr. Eurovision' wrote How does it feel, which will be performed by Tony Neef, Stephen Stephanou, Laura Vlasblom and Birgitte Nijman (Air Force). The members of Air Force have a lot of Eurovision Song Contest experience: Tony Neef participated in the Dutch selection in 1990 (semifinal with Alles) and 1992 (together with Hella Koffeman, with the song Nooit geweten), Birgitte Nijman did the same in 1989, as part of the duo Two hearts singing Johnny en Mandy. In 1986 and 1992, Laura Vlasbom participated at the Nationaal Songfestival. In 1986 she won, as part of the group Frizzle Sizzle, and she represented the Netherlands with Alles heeft ritme at the Eurovision Song Contest in Bergen, Norway, together with Karen Vlasblom, Marjon Keller and Mandy Huydts. Stephan Stephanou, the fourth member of Air Force does not have any Eurovision Song Contest experience. Darre also participated at the Alternatief Songfestival earlier this year. Glennis Grace won the Dutch Soundmixshow in the early nineties with her act as Withney Houston. And – there he is again – André Kuik performs So high.
Songwriter Bruce Smith wrote 7 of the 24 songs. Writer/composer Romeo Samuel submitted 11 songs, only one song has been selected: André Kuik's So high.
You can listen to most of the songs here!